Endeavour College of Natural Health
For 28-year-old nutritionist, TV personality, cook and MasterChef grand finalist Georgia Barnes, food was always an integral part of life. It was this overriding passion, combined with a love of working with people, which led her both to study nutrition with Endeavour College of Natural Health and to audition for MasterChef.
The latter turned out to be a pivotal decision in Georgia’s life, as she quickly proved she had what it took to take on some of Australia’s most talented home cooks with their eyes firmly on the prize.
It was Georgia’s talent combined with her creative flair and laser-like focus that saw her battle her way through the MasterChef Australia 2015 grand final. Narrowly missing out on winning the series, she finished two precious points behind fellow competitor Billie McKay but emerged humble in defeat and full of praise for the victor.
Twelve months later, Georgia has been busier than ever making her mark in the food industry. Since becoming runner-up in July 2015, the motivated nutritionist has been travelling the country demonstrating her unique cooking style, appeared as a guest on a number of TV programs and also secured a monthly column with Taste magazine.
As she learned the health benefits of unprocessed and whole foods, she started to use her home-cooking skills to develop allergy- and intolerance-friendly recipes to help those in need.
Driven by her success, her passion and her desire to make a difference, Georgia is ready to embark on her biggest challenge yet. She has plans underway to open a multifunctional food space in Brisbane dedicated to cooking classes, catered events and food photography and is excited about what the future holds.
“Since wrapping up with MasterChef I haven’t really looked back and I’ve been working really hard on making my dreams come to life,” she says. “I’ve finally reached a point in my career where my love of wholesome food, creative cooking, natural health and sharing my knowledge with people are merging for the first time.”
From an early age, Georgia was curious about good produce, where it came from and what it tasted like. It was her grandmother, affectionately known as Mama, who most influenced her love of food. “She never wasted a thing and would transform very simple, fresh ingredients into the most delicious dishes.”
This planted the seed for Georgia to complete a nutrition degree with Endeavour College of Natural Health.
She says she became interested in learning about natural health after her mother took her to a naturopath. “I learned how to nourish myself and it helped me understand my own body. The whole approach was very holistic and made perfect sense to me.”
Her natural health studies marked a shift whereby food became about work and play. As she learned the health benefits of unprocessed and whole foods, she started to use her home-cooking skills to develop allergy- and intolerance-friendly recipes to help those in need.
“Food as medicine is such a beautiful term to me — the most organic foods can do so much for you and you can feel it,” says Georgia. “I swear, if you drink something green, alkaline and packed full of nutrients, it’s like your body says something to you.”
Reflecting on how her approach to nutrition had changed over the years, the MasterChef alumna says her meals are now always “oomphed” with something special.
“I like to take a basic recipe and get creative with it by upping the nutritional profile with wholefoods and interesting ingredients. My pumpkin cheesecake is a great example: the filling is still creamy and delicious but made with pumpkin and turmeric. I make the base using pepitas and throw in cinnamon and spices. Before you know it, the cheesecake isn’t looking too bad!”
Although Georgia’s cooking is creative and inventive, she still sticks to the basic naturopathic principles, making bone broths and green smoothies and fermenting her own vegetables.
Using her profile to encourage and influence people to become more connected with their food is the most important driver for Georgia.
“It’s really important to me that I encourage and teach people how to make their meals at home from scratch,” she says. “[If you’re] not making your own food you’re not connected to it and you’re definitely less mindful. The more connected we are to the ingredients and the food we eat, the more we nourish ourselves and make better choices — life is more balanced this way. The best part is it has a better health outcome!”
Endeavour College of Natural Health
Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australasia’s largest degree-conferring tertiary institution offering qualifications in complementary medicine and natural health. It has six campuses in Australia and two in New Zealand, six Bachelor degrees, three Honours degrees, 5000 students, 350 staff, leading academics in the field and an active Office of Research.
Endeavour College of Natural Health offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Naturopathy, Acupuncture, Myotherapy and Complementary Medicine. Endeavour is hosting an Open Day at each of its campuses nationally on Saturday, October 8, for people interested in exploring a natural Health career.
For more information, call Endeavour on 1300 462 887 or apply online at endeavour.edu.au.
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